Kuwait: ITUC Condemns Military Threat to Striking Workers

The international trade union movement has condemned today’s threat by the Kuwaiti authorities to use the army and police to stop public sector strikes in the country as public anger grows at the government’s failure to respect workers’ rights and its inaction on corruption. Yesterday, Kuwait’s Foreign Minister tendered his resignation, and at least one other Minister is believed to be considering resigning as well.

“This attack on the right to strike is disgraceful,” said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow in response to the government’s announcement today that the army and police are ‘ready to deal with any act of strike’. “The trade union movement worldwide stands in complete solidarity with the Kuwaiti Trade Union Federation at this critical time, and we support their legitimate demand for workers’ rights to be respected,” she added.

On 11 October, the ITUC denounced the formation of a committee involving the military and the National Guard in Kuwait to respond to the wave of strikes underway.

“This new announcement is an escalation of the military threat against the people of Kuwait. The government needs to turn back from this path, which will cause immense damage to Kuwait’s society and economy, and its international reputation. We are referring this latest action by the authorities to the International Labour Organisation as a matter of urgency,” said Burrow.

See the ITUC letter